A few days ago I read a heartbreaking story about a man who shot arrows into a dog that was barking outside his gate. Attached was a photo of the dog standing on the street with three arrows stuck to her body. As an animal lover, I could not take the heartbreak of looking at a helpless animal just standing there, emotionless, not complaining of pain, not crying, not able to articulate the hurt she was feeling physically.
Do you get where I am coming from? The man who shot the arrows claims he was just protecting his children but my question is, why couldn't he just spray the dog with a water hose?
I know the exact reason why.
I grew up in a community that taught me dogs are harmful animals that should not be touched or kept, due to our faith. What they failed to include was that dogs are just animals. They have no voice of their own and therefore humans should not be cruel to them, regardless of faith.
I used to be terrified of dogs. I thought every dog is vicious and are out to kill humans. I thought touching a dog would anger God. I thought I was supposed to be mean to dogs because they are evil.
Fortunately I met a lot of animal lovers along the way and I learnt a great deal from these people. Yes, my faith teaches me that a dog's saliva is najis. It is dirty and you will have to cleanse yourself in a spiritual manner if you ever come in contact. Yes, my faith teaches me that I should not keep dogs, unless the intent is for them to guard the wellbeing of my house and its occupants.
But never ever did my faith teach me to be cruel to dogs just because their saliva is dirty. Never did my faith teach me to harm dogs if they frightened me with their barks outside my gate.
It is sad that the teachings have been misconstrued so badly to the point that people see dogs as evil beings that need to be eradicated at all costs.
Of course, this fear of dogs also comes from stories of people being mauled to death by strays or house dogs which have not been properly leashed by their owners. But please, take the time to study dogs. Not all dogs attack for no reason. There are aggressive breeds and there are rabid dogs. Just as there are aggressive humans and crazy people who go around robbing and attacking old ladies (which is another regretful story which made the newspapers today).
But please rationalize, why why WHY would you harm an ANIMAL which has no mind of its own just because it scares you. Dear man, (who shot the dog with arrows) if this country had stricter animal laws, you would be in jail right now, awaiting trial. You would go to jail or be given a hefty fine or both.
However our animal laws are almost non-existent, therefore, please use your common sense. Please do not teach the young that it is okay to hurt these animals. No religion teaches its followers that it is alright to harm animals, be them dogs.
By the way, the dog in question died today due to ticks. The vet concluded that the dog was malnourished and ill. She had been abandoned for a long time and the arrow incident further traumatized her. I cried when I read this in the newspaper today.
I am not asking you to love dogs or hug them or let them lick you, I am simply asking you to have a heart.